What is Lexiva?Lexiva is used to treat people with HIV infection, always in combination with other anti-HIV medicines. Lexiva belongs to a class of anti-HIV medicines called protease inhibitors. When used in combination therapy, Lexiva may help lower the amount of HIV found in your blood; raise certain cell counts; and keep your immune system as healthy as possible, so it can fight infection.
What is the most important information I should know about Lexiva?Lexiva does not cure human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), nor does it reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact or blood exposure. It is not known if Lexiva will help you live longer or experience fewer of the medical problems, such as opportunistic infections, associated with HIV or AIDS.
Lexiva can cause dangerous and life-threatening interactions if taken with certain other medicines (see "What are possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?"). You should know all of the medicines you take, including vitamins and herbal supplements, and keep a list that you can show to your healthcare providers and pharmacists. Do not start any new medicines while you are taking Lexiva without talking with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Women who use birth control pills should choose a different kind of contraception. The use of Lexiva and Norvir (ritonavir) in combination with birth control pills may be harmful to your liver. The use of Lexiva may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Talk to your healthcare provider about choosing an effective contraceptive.
Use barrier forms of contraception (eg, condoms) if you have HIV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors.
When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking Lexiva, even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
Lexiva may improve immune system function. This may reveal hidden infections in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice signs or symptoms of an infection (such as: fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, shortness of breath) after you start Lexiva.
Changes in body fat (such as an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking Lexiva. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Lexiva may raise your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking Lexiva may increase the amount of Lexiva in your blood. This may increase your risk for serious side effects. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit juice in your diet.
If you take an aluminum- or magnesium-containing antacid, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with Lexiva.
Lab tests, including liver function, cholesterol or triglyceride levels, white blood cell count, and blood sugar levels, may be performed while you use Lexiva. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Who should not take Lexiva?Do not take Lexiva if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Do not take Lexiva if you are allergic to, or are taking amprenavir or sulfa medicines. Do not take Lexiva if you are also taking amprenavir. See "What are possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?" below for a list of drugs you should not take in combination with Lexiva.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Lexiva?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Lexiva. Lexiva can cause serious interactions if taken with certain other medications. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes; hemophilia; kidney or liver problems; or are allergic to sulfa medicines. Before you take Lexiva, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Women who use birth control pills should use an additional or different kind of contraception, since Lexiva may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Talk to your doctor about choosing an effective contraceptive. If you take Lexiva, birth control pills, and other drugs in combination, you may be harming your liver.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dose is 700 milligrams (mg) taken twice daily, in combination with ritonavir. The maximum dosage is 2 tablets or 1400 mg taken twice daily when Lexiva is used alone.
Children 2 to 18 years: The recommended dosage of Lexiva in patients 2 years of age and older should be calculated based on body weight (kg) and should not exceed 1400mg twice daily. When Lexiva is given alone to children, 1400mg twice daily may be used in patients weighing at least 47kg.
Children between 2 and 5 years old can take Lexiva suspension at a dose of 30 mg per kilogram twice daily without exceeding a dose of 1,400 mg twice daily. Children 6 years and older can receive either Lexiva suspension at a dose of 30 mg per kilogram twice daily without exceeding a dose of 1400 mg twice daily or they can receive 18 mg per kilogram of the oral suspension without exceeding a dose of 700 mg twice daily(in combination ritonavir).
Liver impairment: Lexiva should be used with caution in patients with liver impairment. A reduced dose of 700 mg twice daily should be used in these patients. If the liver impairment is moderate in severity, the daily Lexiva dose should be reduced to 700 mg twice daily (without ritonavir) or 450 mg twice daily if used in combination with ritonavir. If the liver impairment is severe, the dose should be reduced to 350 mg twice daily (alone). There is not data on the use of Lexiva in combination with ritonavir in patients with severe liver impairment.
How should I take Lexiva?Lexiva tablets may be taken with or without food. Do not take more or less than your prescribed dose at any one time. Do not change your dose or stop taking Lexiva unless your doctor tells you to do so. If the medicine is stopped for even a short time, the amount of HIV virus in your blood may increase. When your supply of Lexiva or other anti-HIV medicine starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacy.
Continue taking Lexiva even if you start to feel better. Do not miss any doses.
If you take an aluminum- or magnesium-containing antacid, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with Lexiva
Adults should take Lexiva oral suspension without food. Children should take Lexiva suspension with food. If vomiting occurs within 30 minutes after dosing, the dose should be repeated. Shake Lexiva Oral Suspension vigorously before each use.
What should I avoid while taking Lexiva?Do not use certain medicines while you are taking Lexiva (see "What are possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?"). Do not breastfeed while taking Lexiva.
Avoid doing things that can spread HIV infection, since Lexiva doesn't stop you from passing HIV to others. Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. You should never use or share dirty needles. Also, do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Lexiva?If Lexiva is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lexiva with the following: amprenavir, cisapride, ergot medicines, such as dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, and methylergonovine, flecainide, grapefruit (whole fruit or juice), midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, triazolam
What are the possible side effects of Lexiva?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue
Sometimes, Lexiva can cause diabetes or affect blood sugar in people who are already diabetic. Lexiva may also increase the risk of bleeding problems in some patients with hemophilia. Lexiva may cause skin rashes, changes in blood tests, or changes in body fat. In some patients, Lexiva may worsen liver disease if you already have liver problems.
Can I receive Lexiva if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Lexiva during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed if you are HIV-positive because of the chance of passing the HIV virus to your baby through your milk.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Lexiva?It is important that you not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of Lexiva by more than 4 hours, wait and take the next dose at the regular time. However, if you miss a dose by fewer than 4 hours, take your missed dose right away then take your next dose at the regular time.
How should I store Lexiva?Store Lexiva at 77°F (25°C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59° and 86°F (15° and 30°C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep the container tightly closed. Do not use after the expiration date.